Reception for Quarries of New England: Photographys by Steven D. Keirstead

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Blue Hill Public Library
5 Parker Point Rd, Blue Hill, ME, 04614
S Keirstead Chase Quarry June 5

These diptychs and triptychs explore abandoned rock quarries of New England. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the quarrying industry provided jobs for thousands of laborers, mostly immigrants, supplying building material and pavement for a young nation. But when construction techniques and road materials changed, the industry declined, and most of the early stone companies stopped operating.


After work ceased, nature returned. Slowly, human alterations to the landscape were obscured, but not erased. Vegetation grew back into barren wastes, open pits filled with water, iron and steel tools rusted, and wooden derricks rotted.


This photo series documents the rebirth of abandoned quarries as something else, as wildness reclaims what industry left behind. While my work echoes early panoramic photography that used multiple glass plate negatives, I use realistic digital color to make window-like compositions. Having started this series across the road from our place in East Blue Hill, Maine, at the G. W. and W. C. Collins Quarry, I’ve continued to work on my portfolio in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

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